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Future of "Baghdad wall" unclear

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Future of "Baghdad wall" unclear

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There is confusion over whether construction will continue on a controversial security wall in Baghdad. On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a halt to work on the barrier, designed to protect a Sunni enclave from militant attacks. But now the Iraqi spokesman for a US-backed security clampdown has implied construction will continue.

“We want the wall taken down, normal life to return, our daughters to be free to go out,” said one resident. “This wall has no benefits. They want to create sectarian strife. There is no difference between the Sunnis and Shi’ites. We are all Iraqis, all Muslims,” said another.

Some residents in Adhamiya have linked the five kilometre wall to a barrier Israel is building in the West Bank. The US military says the project was approved by the Iraqi government and its army and is only meant to be a temporary measure. Observers say Iraqi and US authorities appear to have been caught off guard by the hostility to the wall.